Tony Stewart in Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone Rolls with Smoke
Tony Stewart had a calm look on his face, even as he walked away from a smoldering race car with his helmet in one hand, and the steering wheel in the other.
“… made a trip with Stewart to the Talladega Dirt Track to watch Stewart’s driver Redneck Jody race.”
Mike Guy, one of Rolling Stone’s preeminent writers, tagged along with Smoke for 4 weeks this spring in order to bring the magazine’s readers an inside look at NASCAR’s 2 time champion.
Guy had access to Stewart that few reporters – few people – ever get. He flew with Tony on the Citation jet, rode in Tony’s beat up Hummer as the two made their way to Smoke’s Indiana home at dawn, made a trip with Stewart to the Talladega Dirt Track to watch Stewart’s driver Redneck Jody race, and even sat in the motor home with the driver and his posse as they ate ravioli and doughnuts moments after Junior wrecked him and took him out of the race.
One night when Guy and Stewart arrived back at Smoke’s house in Indiana – which the magazine writer describes as more like an extended stay hotel than a home – someone opened the refrigerator only to discover there was no food. Nothing but a can of tangerine wedges – marinated in rum, and a 6 pack of Schlitz.
Smoke offered Guy, who doesn’t drink, the tangerines, never telling him about the rum marinade. By the time he plopped the first one into his mouth it was too late. I’m sure Smoke got a laugh out of that.
Once, Guy tried to console Stewart following a mediocre race at Phoenix. “Good race,” says the writer. In typical Tony Stewart fashion the driver responded “Oh you think so? Because I think it sucked.”
One thing that Guy found was that even the ever calm Jim Hunter, NASCAR’s Vice President of Corporate Communications, had some harsh words for Stewart. Yet Hunter also said that it was drivers like Tony Stewart that made the sport what it is today.
Mike Guy’s article is an entertaining story – even if you’re not a fan of Smoke. It’s worth the price of the magazine just to hear what Tony said about Kurt Busch. Or you can read the article online at RollingStone.com.
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